Friday, April 6, 2012

News from the Network, Vol. 5, No. 14

This goes into the "Not-So-Brilliant-Brilliant-Idea" Department. As the news story puts it, "Two former Wall Streeters with sympathies for the Occupy Movement have launched a website to help people dodge taxes. They describe their mission to 'Occupy The IRS' in patriotic terms, using a picture of Thomas Jefferson as their Twitter avatar." ("The Occupy Protestors Have Launched a Website to Help You Dodge Taxes," Business Insider.) As the article explains, "The site, called taxKilla, walks users through the simplest way to dodge taxes: filing Schedule C deductions for a business entity."

Uh, thanks . . . but no thanks. This is an almost sure-fire way to destroy what little is left of entrepreneurial spirit in America. One of the few — the very few — benefits left to being your own boss and starting a business on your kitchen table is the ease of the "Schedule C." The form allows any boob or boobette to try out an idea for a business without first having to set up a separate entity, file with the state, local, or county government (within certain limits for some professions for which you need a license), and a host of other impedimenta. E.g., lots of woodworkers or other artists often make a little extra money and even go into business for themselves using nothing more than a Schedule C, without having to do anything else.

Using the Schedule C to carry out a scam endangers this, and for what? Destroy small enterprise and the last shreds of capital ownership among the 99% to punish the government and the 1%? News flash — they aren't the ones who will go to prison or face loss of tax deductions for small business. Their corporations file taxes for the businesses they own. They won't be hurt one bit. Only the poor schmoe who needed the Schedule C to operate his or her business without going broke hiring lawyers and accountants. Thanks, Occupy. What's next? Abolishing capital credit for people with less than a fortune so we can all be wage and welfare slaves?

Oh, right. Well, to get things back on track, we need a Capital Homestead Act, not an attack on one of the few things in the tax code that's any real use to the little guy. And to get that, here's what we've been doing:

• Charles Krauthammer a plagiarist? It might seem so to a casual reader. Or maybe it's a case of great minds running in the same channel (or fools thinking alike?). Or maybe it's just that President Obama's actions seem so unconnected with reality these days that it's hard not to say something — "deficile est saturam non scribere, nam quis iniquae iam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se." (Juvenal, 1:30-32.) Dr. Krauthammer's column in today's Washington Post (04/06/12) raises some issues covered this past Tuesday on this blog in "Obama's Lack of Vision," even using some of the same language (e.g., "bully" — and we're not talking Theodore Roosevelt here). We're warning you, Doctor. If you don't take the unprecedented and extraordinary step of having a talk with Norman Kurland soon, we'll shake our finger at you — and this time we'll mean it.

• Norm appeared on the Meshorn Daniels show out of Louisville, Kentucky, again this past week, along with Guy S. from Iowa, who has been collecting video and audio clips pertaining to the Just Third Way at a tremendous rate. As we get closer to the web upgrade of the CESJ site, Guy's work will provide an immensely valuable resource as the Just Third Way movement gets into high gear.

• Ordinary we don't put up more than one blog posting in a day (and even that sometimes strains our resources — see below), but this is important. The new article just published in Inside the Vatican, "Catholic Teaching and the Elections," can be an important "door opening" resource as we seek to expand our network and reach prime movers. Use the link to the posting to maximum advantage by "sharing" it on Facebook and tweeting it to your network, using the new gadgets on the blog (to your right). You might even send the link to the various political campaigns to see if you can wake or shake them up.

• A number of people in the Just Third Way network are putting in a great deal of effort surfacing opportunities to get the word out. Norm's interview on the Meshorn Daniels show this week is a case in point. Unfortunately, the "core group" on the ground here at CESJ international headquarters doesn't have the resources — especially time — to follow up on most of these opportunities. Nor is it effective for people outside the core group to try and "sell" the Just Third Way themselves. Even the core group does not act individually, but as a team — no single individual has the whole picture. The best strategy is for people "in the field" to open the door for Norm, and Norm can function as the coordinator to bring different areas of expertise together, depending on what's needed in a specific set of circumstances.

• We also have need of volunteer help in a number of areas. People who propose initiatives and carry them through, like Guy S. and Russell Williams with his radio show, are absolutely critical to the success of the movement — but so are people who put themselves and their resources at the disposal of the movement, and are ready, willing, and able to accept assignments and even possibly "boring" tasks and see them through to completion.

• Currently we are working with an official at a local university to develop a relationship that could get CESJ a number of interns. To make the program more effective, it would be good to be able to offer a small stipend to interns, especially in light of the rapidly rising cost of education and the state of the economy. Keep your eyes open for people or institutions that might be open to funding or endowing an internship or two at CESJ.

• Don't forget the Rally at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors building in Washington, DC on Friday, April 20, 2012, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. If you can't attend in person, consider sending a sentence or two of support for Capital Homesteading to thirdway [at] cesj [dot] org that (if we have time) could be read at the Rally, e.g., "Barb S. from Indiana says she just loves Capital Homesteading to pieces and can't wait to get an Act passed so she can start accumulating capital assets."

• As of this morning, we have had visitors from 53 different countries and 50 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past two months. Most visitors are from the United States, Canada, the UK, India, and Australia. People in the Netherlands Antilles, the United Kingdom, the United States, Indonesia and Pakistan spent the most average time on the blog. The most popular postings this past week were "Thomas Hobbes on Private Property," "Aristotle on Private Property," "The Crimes of Mitt Romney," "Why Did Nixon Take the Dollar Off the Gold Standard?" and "The Situation in Greece."

Those are the happenings for this week, at least that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we'll see that it gets into the next "issue." If you have a short (250-400 word) comment on a specific posting, please enter your comments in the blog — do not send them to us to post for you. All comments are moderated anyway, so we'll see it before it goes up.

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